I love having a wood stove in our house, I really do. Sometimes when we go to someone else's house I feel a little bit lost, wondering why I can't seem to find the warm thing to go stand by and get warm.
But it's a messy deal.
I'm constantly amazed at the amount of bark dust, sawdust, wood chips and dirt that plague my floor from the back room where our daily stash is piled through the kitchen to the living room.
Some days I sweep twice a day. Some days I sweep once. And then there are some days I go on strike and pretend the broom is my mortal enemy.
On those days it whispers from the corner nice promises of pretty, clean floors and I soon give in.
And then there's the burns I keep getting on my hands from stuffing heavy long pieces of maple into the stove. For weeks now there has been a constantly shifting pattern of burn marks on the backs of my knuckles from touching the INSIDE of the stove.
You know, where it's nice and hot.
And makes nice big blistery burns.
But the incident that really took the cake was when I had already swept the floor on Friday and went out to grab another piece of wood for the fire. I carefully shook it off, as best you can "shake" a big ole' piece of log, and held it out away from me so as not to get covered myself with sawdust.
I held it up with one hand at shoulder level, kind of like a waitress with a tray, apparently one of those skills you learn that comes in handy in the most interesting of situations.
With one hand I opened the door, with the other I held up the log. With one foot I held back the cat from darting into the room he'd been temporarily banned from, and with the other I kicked the door shut after maneuvering myself through.
Except that I hadn't quite gotten ALL of myself through the door. My arm, the one with the log in it, was still kind of... in the back room.
Before I knew it, the log had ricocheted off the door, then the door jamb, and then my forehead. Sawdust went everywhere.
I nearly dropped it on my toe after that.
I got a nice little bruise from it, but nothing a little concealer wouldn't cover up in time for church the next day.
And yeah, I totally had to sweep again.